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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Our ally, Jim O'Shaughnessy

Jim O'Shaughnessy (from the O'Shaughnessy Ventures website)

Robert Anton Wilson fandom could use a few more people like Jim O'Shaughnessy, people with a big following who are trying to promote Wilson's work.

On May 26, O'Shaughnessy posted an excerpt from Natural Law, Or Don't Put A Rubber On Your Willy And Other Writings From A Natural Outlaw on X (e.g., Twitter). It's one of my favorite Hilaritas Press publications; much of the book  had not been anthologized before.

As of today, the post had 6,421 views and 13 retweets. O'Shaughnessy has about 177,000 followers. 

Compare with a May 24 posting on X from @RAWilson23, a must-follow for RAW fans. The posting publicized  the news about the new Tales of Illuminatus! comic book adaptation, the most recent big news concerning RAW. It has 409 views and 5 retweets. The account has about 6,100 followers -- quite good, but dwarfed by O'Shaughnessy.

The quote O'Shaughnessy, posted was this:

"I am not interested in Ideologies and don't give a damn about labels at all, at all. I am interested only in what makes the world a little more reasonable, a little less violent and somewhat more free and tolerant than it has been in the past. 

"What I am writing about, in fact, might better be called life-style than politics. As Tim Leary once said, the only intelligent way to discuss politics is on all fours, since it all comes down to territorial brawling in the end. The questions that I pose are basically matters of lifestyle and almost of taste: are we to be self-governors or are we to be ruled by ghostly abstractions from other worlds? Do we dare to trust our own judgments, fallible though they may be, or do we look for super-sensory Authority to decide hard cases for us? Are we willing to learn from others, and from the unique experience of each day, or do we have an abstract blueprint that we never revise? We all have brains which use rational programs to decide cases that can be decided that way, and which also use other circuits loosely called feeling and intuition and memory, and all of these, including reason, can be self-deceptive at times, but if we have a sense of humor and lack a sense of Papal Infallibility, we don't make too many gross errors (most of the time); will we use that bundle of cells in our skull, or will we mechanically look up the answer in the rule book? Are we going to be individualists eventually, or must we always rely on metaphysical abstractions that look suspiciously like theological tabus in disguise? 

"As I say, these are questions of attitude and life-style, not of party politics and Ideology. But they all resolve to the one basic question that separates the sheep from the goats in every generation: are we learning and growing every hour, or are we still enthralled by verbal abstraction, by Ideal Platonic Horseshit that never changes?"

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